The short story “The Gentlemen of the Jungle” by Jomo Kenyatta is a fable. It has several elements often encountered in fables; for example, it begins and ends with typical formulas: “once upon a time” and “lived happily ever after”. The beginning of the story suggests that the tale takes place in an imaginary place and time, but that the events depicted are symbolic for current or recent situations in the real world.
The story also gives animals human traits (known as anthropomorphism) and uses symbolism and irony to illustrate a certain moral issue. A moral lesson is provided at the end of the story, which is another feature that is typical of fables.
Apart from being a fable, the story is also a clear example of colonial literature, as it is written by an author who has been a victim of colonization and who uses his art as a means to speak out against the colonizers.
To better understand the story,...